Sudan protesters agree to direct talks with ruling generals

Prominent protest leader Madani Abbas Madani speaks during a press conference in the capital Khartoum on July 3, 2019, when they agreed to hold direct talks with the ruling generals. (AFP)
Updated 03 July 2019

Sudan protesters agree to direct talks with ruling generals

  • One of the conditions for the talks was to reach a decision 'within 72 hours'
  • Tensions further soared after the June 3 raid on a protest camp

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s protest leaders Wednesday agreed to hold direct talks with the ruling generals after African Union and Ethiopian mediators urged the two sides to resume stalled negotiations about a new governing body.
“The Alliance for Freedom and Change met and decided to accept the invitation for direct negotiations” with the generals, prominent protest leader Madani Abbas Madani told reporters.
One of the conditions for the talks was to reach a decision “within 72 hours,” he said.
The African Union and Ethiopia have mediated between the two sides after tensions soared following a deadly crackdown on a weeks-long sit-in last month that killed dozens of demonstrators and wounded hundreds.
Talks between the two rival groups had collapsed in May over the make-up of the governing body and who should lead it — a civilian or soldier.
Tensions further soared after the June 3 raid on the protest camp, after which the African Union and Ethiopia launched efforts to bring the two groups to the negotiating table.
On Tuesday the mediators called on both groups to resume talks on Wednesday, but it was still unclear if the negotiations would resume on that day.
The ruling military council that seized power after the army’s ouster of longtime ruler Omar Al-Bashir has still not responded to the call for talks made by the mediators to resume talks.


Iraq’s top Shiite cleric says new PM must be chosen without foreign interference

Updated 18 min 3 sec ago

Iraq’s top Shiite cleric says new PM must be chosen without foreign interference

BAGHDAD: Iraq’s top Shiite Muslim cleric said on Friday that a new prime minister must be chosen without foreign interference after Adel Abdul Mahdi announced his resignation a week ago.
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani urged political leaders to abandon partisan politics in choosing a new head of government and said he would have no involvement in efforts to replace Abdul Mahdi.